No. 164. Report of Colonel C. Feger Jackson,
Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves, Third Brigade, of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Glendale, or Nelson's Farm (Frazier's Farm).
HEADQUARTERS NINTH REGIMENT P. R. V. C.
In obedience to order I have the honor to report that on Thursday, the 26th day of June, at about 2 o'clock p. m., rapid firing commenced in the direction of Mechanicsville. My regiment was at once ordered under arms. We remained so until about 4 p. m., the firing in the mean time approaching gradually. The batteries in front of our line had opened upon the advancing enemy. I was ordered to support the Twelfth Regiment, which was posted in rifle pits on the left. Immediately after dark I sent four companies from the left of my regiment out on picket on a in extending down the stream, the remaining six companies being held in reserve. The night passed off quietly. At day-break the enemy resumed attack upon our rifle pits. I was ordered to send four companies to relieve the men who had held the pits during the night. This was accomplished under a heavy fire. My order was to hold the pits until the main body of our troops had withdrawn. This being done, about 7 a. m. my men were cautiously drawn off, not, however, without considerable annoyance from shot and shell for the first mile of our retreat. The conduct of the officers and men generally was most satisfactory on this occasion.
Casualties-2 killed, 10 wounded, 4 missing.
I have the honor to report that in this engagement the operations of my regiment were confined to a small area, being a strip of dense wood near the extreme left of our line. To enter this it was necessary to cross a deep, swampy ravine, and also to encounter a severe fire from a large body of rebel infantry. I was ordered to the support of our infantry and to charge upon the enemy. In falling back across the open field, which was done under a galling fire, there was much disorder and a complete mingling of several regiments, in consequence of which, and the wild, ineffectual firing arising therefrom, an effort was made to rally the different regiments, but without success.
We were then ordered to fall back and reorganize, which was partially successful. Our former position in the woods was again taken, but it seemed impossible to make any impression on the enemy, whose fire was increasing, convincing me that we weere being met by fresh troops in every effort made to dislodge the foe. We again fell back, rallied, and advanced the third time, but our force was too much reduced by casualties and stragglers from the regiment to accomplish anything.
The officers, without an exception, did their whole duty. The men,